The 10 shootings examined by Maine's Deadly Force Review Panel




  • In US
  • 2022-01-26 14:57:00Z
  • By Portland Press Herald, Maine

Jan. 26---- Carroll Tuttle Sr., Madison - July 5, 2017

Tuttle had killed his domestic partner, his son and a neighbor, and had wounded a bystander. As one officer from the Somerset County Sheriff's Office assisted the bystander, Tuttle drove toward them at high speed, and the officer and two other sheriff's deputies opened fire, killing him. The bystander survived.

- Jason Jackson, Machiasport - Dec. 9, 2017

Jackson committed a home invasion in East Machias and law enforcement was looking for him. He returned to his home and an officer followed him inside. Other police arrived and, believing the first officer was in danger, a Maine Marine Patrol officer entered the home and tried to get Jackson, armed with a handgun, to surrender. Fearing he was about to be shot, the officer shot Jackson, wounding him and his former domestic partner, who was trying to shield Jackson. No one was killed.

- John Corneil, Oakfield - May 4, 2018

Corneil was visiting his mother in Oakfield and shot BBs at a neighbor's dog. The neighbors complained to a Maine state trooper. The trooper and a supervisor decided to wait two days and then followed Corneil into a grocery store to arrest him. He became agitated and pulled what appeared to be a handgun from his jacket. A trooper told him to drop the weapon but Corneil did not comply, so the trooper shot and killed him. Corneil's weapon was later determined to be a gas-powered pellet gun.

- William Derick, Wales - May 13, 2018

Maine State Police responded to a report that Derick had shot his wife at their home in Wales. Police learned Derick suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and anxiety, that he was not medicated, and that he had been taken into protective custody by police several times. Derick's wife told police that he was in extreme crisis, had access to a handgun and a long gun that he used to shoot her, and was barricaded in their home without a phone. The state police tactical team attempted several hours of de-escalation and negotiation, but Derick continued to brandish weapons and to threaten to shoot police. A member of the tactical team shot and killed Derick when he saw him take a firing position aiming at an armored personnel vehicle.

- Brian Barker, Bangor - Oct. 16, 2018

A woman called police to report that Barker, her boyfriend, would not leave her apartment and was threatening to cut his own throat. She fled the unit and locked herself and her dog in her car. Two officers in separate cruisers arrived simultaneously and found Barker outside on the sidewalk, armed with a knife. They commanded him to drop the knife, but he did not comply and advanced toward them, yelling, "Do it!" A third officer arrived and, seeing Barker advancing toward the others, also ordered him to stop. When Barker did not comply, the third officer shot Barker three times. Barker survived.

- Adrian Bunker, Old Town - Nov. 28, 2018

An Old Town police officer stopped Bunker on Stillwater Avenue for speeding and observed that Bunker was intoxicated. Bunker told the officer three times he was "gonna run," and when the officer asked why, Bunker responded, "I don't want to live." The officer ordered Bunker out of the vehicle but he sped off. Two officers pursued him in two cruisers, but Bunker stopped abruptly, and when police approached, they saw Bunker had a gun to his head. They ordered him to put it down, but Bunker pointed the weapon at one officer, who shot and killed him.

- Jason Gora, Minot - Feb. 2, 2020

Jason Gora's father called the Auburn Police Department to ask for a wellness check on his son, who had posted suicidal ideations on Facebook. Police couldn't find Gora but learned that he had tried to commit suicide a few months earlier and that he likely wanted to provoke police to shoot him. A couple of days later, an Auburn officer reached Gora by phone and tried to convince him to turn himself in and get help, and asked his location. His reply was, "Come find me (expletive) and see what happens!" Later that night, another officer saw Gora's vehicle speeding toward Minot. Gora did not stop for police and rammed a cruiser that had set up spike strips to disable his car, spinning both vehicles out. He refused to comply with commands, grabbed something from his back seat and fled. As he ran, Gora stumbled, turned toward officers and pointed something they thought was a gun. All four officers fired and killed Gora, mistaking the knife in his hand for a gun.

- Douglas Hazen, Medford - April 26, 2019

A Piscataquis County sheriff's deputy was patrolling the Medford area when he saw a gold van without an inspection sticker. He believed the driver to be Hazen, who had outstanding arrest warrants. When the van's driver refused to stop, the deputy learned from dispatch that Hazen was the owner and was considered armed and dangerous. A second officer joined the chase and followed Hazen to the street where he lived. Hazen ran inside and re-emerged with a handgun at his side. He refused commands to drop the weapon, and a Taser did not subdue him. Police shot him as he advanced toward them still holding and "bobbing" the weapon. Hazen survived.

- Steven Case Jr., Auburn - May 21, 2019

Two police officers were at a home in Auburn investigating theft of fuel from a gas station when they learned that Case was in the basement of the home with a cache of weapons and ammunition and that he planned a shootout with police. The officer encountered Case and retreated. Case was holding a young woman hostage and barricaded himself in the home for five hours. The state police tactical team responded but was unsuccessful in negotiating a release of the hostage or persuading Case to surrender. They learned he wanted to commit "suicide by cop." When Case briefly moved away from the hostage, a member of the tactical team shot him in the neck through a window, killing him.

- Reed Rickabaugh, Hiram - April 25, 2020

Three deputies with the Oxford County Sheriff's Office went to Rickabaugh's home to serve a protection from harassment order. Rickbaugh emerged from the home holding a revolver and fired one shot toward the deputies, striking a cruiser. The state police tactical team was called in, and crisis negotiators tried for 10 hours to get Rickabaugh to surrender. Rickabaugh fired at a tactical team armored vehicle and called 911 to report that he was under attack and to request that police send help. The next morning, with the standoff continuing, police told Rickabaugh they would use deadly force if he continued to shoot at them. A robot was used to detonate an explosive, blowing off the door to the home. Rickabaugh appeared in the doorway and shot at the robot. Two state police tactical team members fired back, killing him.

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